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How to Keep Employee Morale Up While Working From Home

How to Keep Employee Morale Up While Working From Home main image

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the way people work around the world.

Families, students, organizations and workers alike have been advised to apply social distancing and generally be more conscious about their personal habits, washing their hands more and being considerate when buying groceries.

In this situation, working from home for many has become the norm. Even major tech firms are aware this can’t be avoided, with Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all asking employees to work remotely.

Schools and higher education institutions are also following suit, shifting to working and teaching remotely.

Businesses can’t simply stop operating because of the coronavirus and it’s important to ensure employees don’t feel like they’re working alone when they’re working from home.

Here are our tips for keeping employee morale up at this challenging time.

Get creative with tech

Many companies have been coming up with innovative ways to keep employees engaged, motivated and sane while they’re stuck at home.

Organizations with video conferencing and business-networking setups to accommodate business calls are now repurposing tech for lunch breaks, happy hours, fitness sessions, and any and all other social activities usually enjoyed in the office among colleagues.

Keep in contact

Especially during a time of crisis, leaders need to remain calm. Employees will be looking to you now more than ever for behaviors to follow.

Keep employees in the loop about the evolving situation and allow them to remain engaged with you and other colleagues.

One positive element could be providing weekly virtual sessions on important topics like working from home, staying safe, self-care, and any changes to national/international policy.

Team meetings are also a must to ensure staff still get face-to-face contact. Encourage video calls for meetings, pitching ideas and keeping communication open. After all, when you’re used to seeing the same faces every day, this will be a real shock to the system.

Just keep working

We appreciate in the middle of all the chaos surrounding COVID-19, business as usual may seem like a tall order. Yes, it may feel difficult to stay focused on your work when feeling anxious about what could happen.

However, one thing sure to get you through is taking comfort in knowing the work you do is still there, needs to be addressed, and is still very important. The more people that have this attitude, the more everyone will feel reassured.

You are an important element in ensuring tasks are completed alongside your teammates. Focus on the task and how best to execute it. And hey, if you’re on top of your workload, you can always help others with any outstanding tasks – imagine how far asking ‘How can I help you?’ will go right now.

Relax policies and adjust guidelines

With the closure of schools and daycare facilities all over the world, parents have no choice but to provide childcare.

As an employer, try to be empathetic, flexible and understanding – this is an unprecedented time for everyone, and no one is to blame.

Now is the time to be fair in the world of work. Given the other challenges everyone is facing, let’s not make work any more difficult than it needs to be.

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Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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